My wine-related resolutions for 2008 | AspenTimes.com

My wine-related resolutions for 2008

Kelly J. Hayes

Six months ago I wrote my first column in this space. The closing lines read, “I bring to this endeavor an enthusiasm for learning, a passion for tasting and a desire to impart some good words.”

Both my enthusiasm and passion have grown over the past half-year and I can assure you that imparting words has been the greatest of pleasures. As it is the time of the season for resolutions, I thought it appropriate to share some of the things I plan to do in 2008 with WineInk.

First I resolve to taste more wine. As anyone who knows me well will attest, I do drink a lot of wine. But there is a great difference between tasting wine and drinking wine. It is possible to do the latter and give short shrift to the former. In the coming year I plan to devote considerably more effort to attending as many industry and restaurant tastings as I can, to broaden my experience and improve my palate.

So many regions are becoming more advanced in the production of interesting wines that the only way to keep up is to try and be on the pulse beat and taste, taste, taste. Hungarian wines, Sicilian wines, even wines from Missouri are not even on my radar now, but as the new year progresses I will look forward to sharing some new finds with you.

In addition to tasting more, I plan to read more about wine. This past year has opened doors and provided portals to information that I didn’t even know existed when I began this column. The plethora of places to find both fact and fiction on the Internet is overwhelming but I have begun to cull some of the wine websites down to those I respect and trust. Then there are the books I have acquired along with magazine and newspaper columns that I have collected and devour regularly.

Beyond those resources, however, I have found that next to actually drinking wine the best education comes from talking to those people who live, breathe, work and play in the industry. I resolve to ask as many questions, gather as many opinions and learn as much as I can from the folks who are kind enough to share their passion for wine with me.

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And then there is the meat and potatoes of writing a column. I resolve to try and be a better writer. Some of that is simply paying more attention and spending more time editing what I write. Not a column goes by where I don’t think to myself when I see it in print, “that could be better.” To that end I will attend the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in Napa Valley this February. I have high hopes that the staff there will whip me into shape with a Bill Belichickian intensity that will not settle for anything less than maximum focus and concentration.

And then the fun part. I resolve to do more wine-based travel. There is nothing more fun for me than going to places where grapes are grown. In this country I hanker for trips to the Central Coast of California and the Walla Walla region of Washington state. I have never been to South America but it is on my wish list as the wines of Chile and Argentina make more appearances in my wine rack each year. I’m not sure where, why or how, but taking runs on a regular basis through new and exciting vineyards is something to which I aspire.

Thanks for the year to both my reader and my editors. I’m looking forward to 2008.

Let’s spill some wine.

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